Today is a story we have probably heard of and read before. However, I pray some part of this Scripture touches your heart today as NEVER before….something about it OPENS your eyes as NEVER before!! Let it rock your world….especially your heart.
Before we begin reading I want to point out a couple of NT Scriptures that go along with our OT read.
Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, WHO can be against us?
“You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:32.33)
Allow these scriptures to sink into your heart as you read this wonderful old scripture.
Chapter 15 – In our reading yesterday, Samuel told Saul, because you have not been obedient to God your kingdom will not last forever. THAT would have definitely gotten my attention and possibly made me rethink a few things. WHAT happened in our reading today???
Saul is DISOBEDIENT!!
- In verse 3 — Samuel told Saul to go attack the Amalekites and TOTALLY destroy ALL that belonged to them…. “Do NOT SPARE THEM… men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels, donkeys.” I’d say that was pretty dang clear!! The Amalekites were were guerrilla terrorists, the first group to attack the Israelites. They were disgusting people who evidently attacked the weak and were very cruel. Their name in Hebrew is “Valley dwellers” and they came from a family line started between one of Esau’s descendants and his concubine.
- In verse 6 – Saul DECIDED on HIS OWN (Samuel did not tell him to do this nor did God) to let the Kenites go free before he attacked the Amalekites. They were part of the Midianites. Yes, Moses’ father-in-law was a Midianite priest and was good to Moses. However, we have seen in our readings that the Midianites were very paganistic. They worshiped idols and sacrificed their children to those idols as well as had prostitutes available for sexual worship before their gods. If you recall, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, killed the Israelite man who brought a Midianite woman into the Israelites camp, in front of Moses … well.. Phinehas prevented a huge plague from God by stabbing the couple while they were dancing the horizontal mambo (Numbers 25.)
- In verses 7-16 – Saul is so PROUD of himself for “following God’s instructions!!” HELLLLOOOOOOO!!!! He KEPT king Agag of the Amalekites and the BEST of their land. (Look at what God told him to do with these people in the first bullet above!! THEN he tells Samuel… LOOKIE LOOKIE… I DONE REAL GOOD!! (My southern interpretation)!! THEN…. THEN… HE TELLS SAMUEL A BOLD FACED LIE. When confronted … OH YEAH… our boy Saul… has GOOD excuse…. SO GOOD… Samuel says… ENOUGH!!!!
- In verse 20 Samuel says:
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
- Verse 24 – Saul tells Samuel he sinned (DUH)… (more excuses).
- Verse 26 – Samuel tells him “I will NOT go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD and the LORD has REJECTED YOU AS KING OVER ISRAEL. OYE VAY!!!!! Samuel.. NOT SAUL… killed king Agag!!
- Verse 34 – so sad— “Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord REGRETTED (the original text indicates the meaning of the original word here means that God grieved for making Saul king. God was saddened that Saul made the choices he made. Our God is a just God and choices have consequences. Saul’s choices grieved God.) God KNEW Saul would not work out. However, God gave Saul every opportunity to move in the SPIRIT of the LORD and in the strength of the LORD yet Saul made his own CHOICES, and they were not wise ones. Every CHOICE has a consequence. The Israelites wanted someone who “looked” like a king like the nations around them. Saul filled the Israelites’ request. However Saul’s true nature came through. I believe this shows that God wants each of us to succeed, but in order to succeed for God…we must walk in the path God has for us. Saul basically refused and had to do it his OWN way….not God’s. Saul also came from the tribe of Benjamin and we KNOW Jesus HAD to come from the tribe of Judah to fulfill prophesy.
Chapter 16 – Samuel did mourn for Saul, but the Lord gave him a new mission. HE told Samuel to fill his horn with oil and head for Jesse’s house to anoint HIS choice for the next king of Israel.
Samuel thought he knew God’s appointment, but after going through all of Jesse’s sons…. God told him NO…. ask about another. Ah, yes…David… but he is in the field shepherding his sheep. Send for him, asks Samuel. David enters in glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. The Lord tells Samuel… “RISE and anoint him; THIS IS THE ONE.”
OK… before you move forward… STOP and think about the last few verses of the book of Ruth. If you need to go back and read the linage ….. Perez (whose father was Judah) … ancestor of Salmon who married RAHAB and together they had a son who was BOAZ…. Boaz married Ruth (a Moabite woman) who had a son named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse….. Jesse the father of DAVID!!! AND you thought this was just another story. THIs is history baby…the real deal and of course our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST came from the linage of DAVID!!! WOW…. Like WOW!!!
God’s choice is another reminder that we cannot tell a book by its cover!! Verse 7 – “…The Lord does NOT look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Verse 13 – “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord cam powerfully upon David….” David was anointed in SECRET so that Saul did not kill him.
God had been planning this moment with David for a long time. David was a critical part of our KING. God used every moment of David’s life to prepare him to become KING!! As a shepherd I am SURE there were times when he was BORED silly … so he learned to play the harp. What a wonderful gift and LOOK how God used it with Saul. God placed David with Saul to soothe him, to become his armor bearer, to defeat Goliath and then the Philistines, and eventually to replace Saul!! David defeated Goliath with a few stones and sling shot…. Something he probably practiced out with his sheep and then had to use to protect his sheep…NOW he used it to PROTECT his people!!
So sad… the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. YET…David’s music could soothe his soul and spirit. This is a reminder that our spiritual gifts are a tool for God to use for His purposes. Playing the harp was a gift from the Lord. Look how it was used and look at the big picture here! Our individual spiritual gifts may appear to be small or less significant than others, but GOD GAVE us the GIFTS to be USED for HIS KINGDOM. A “small gift” can turn out to change history … we simply NEVER know how God will use us. So take this as encouragement to USE YOUR GOD GIVEN gift..even if it seems “small” to you…the impact could be HUGE!!
Chapter 17 – And here comes possibly everyone’s favorite story. The Israelites were shaking at the thought of fighting Goliath. Yet David, a Shepherd, who is sent to the battle field by his father Jessie to deliver food for his brothers. David hears Goliath’s threats and asked “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and remove this disgrace from Israel?” OH.. wellllll…. the king will give him great wealth, his daughter in marriage, and tax exemptions for his family!! David asked three times to make sure he understood.
And… what’s a day without a little sibling rivalry… his older brother, Eliab “burns with anger”…wanted to know WHY was HE there!!!! Do you remember that David was anointed in secret and ONLY in the presence of his brothers. Making some sense as to why Eliab was angry…. Possibly jealousy!! Eliab calls David “conceited and wicked!!” NOTHING like sibling rivalry!!! David asked him: “what have I done, and can’t I even speak?” Glad to know sibling rivalry didn’t begin in my family!!
When David goes before Saul he pointed out that he protected his sheep very well… he killed bears and lions who tried to attack his sheep. Saul wanted to outfit David in “real” armor but David could not go in this geer because he was not used to wearing it. NOTHING to protect David… except the GREATEST protector EVER… GOD!!! David had FAITH… BIG FAITH!!
Now David and Goliath are face to face. Goliath mocks David. David tells Goliath: “I COME AGAINST YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD ALMIGHTY, THE GOD OF THE ARMIES OF ISRAEL, WHOM YOU HAVE DEFIED. THIS DAY THE LORD WILL DELIVER YOU INTO MY HANDS, AND I’LL STRIKE YOU DOWN AND CUT OFF YOUR HEAD.”
David was NOT joking. He was young, much smaller than Goliath, wore no heavy duty armor, had no armor bearer, and carried a sling shot and a few stones. “All those gathered here will KNOW that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David kept his promise, but it was not his words or his strength and he KNEW it was not him….it was HIS FAITH IN GOD. HE KNEW he was merely an instrument in God’s army. All glory went to God!!
Last, look at all the armor the giant Goliath wore to go into battle against the Israelites. Goliath was SURE this small kid was NOTHING to him and there would be NO WAY this child could harm him!! Goliath’s armor was 125 pounds, and his spear 15 pounds!! David had a sling shot, his staff, five smooth stones he chose from the stream armor, and MOST IMPORTANTLY was GOD’S ARMOR….(see Ephesians 6:10-20)
So… did anything stand out to you today? Did something touch you differently today in a way that you never saw before? I’d love to hear your comments…. Feel free to write them on the blog ( I would love to see the blog become a discussion area for all… we could learn lots from each other) … or shoot me an email and share what you learned.
Sharing HIS love,